Monday, January 31, 2011

Un-phrases and other interesting things

This morning at a meeting, one of the participants shot out a couple of very funny phrases, which were essentially un-phrases.  What I mean is that they didn't make any sense because they in fact were a combination of 2 related phrases or just a complete mismatch.  Here's the first one:

1. "She's not the smartest light bulb in the the room".

And here are the two derivations, which if combined together produce the above phrase:

... not the brightest light bulb in the room (or box as I've more often heard it)
... not the smartest person in the room

What is humorous about this is that LIGHTBULBS AREN'T EXPECTED TO BE SMART, since they are not sentient or even animate objects, they are only expected to be bright.

2. (Speaking of the time-frame), "We need to stretch it down".  This is a verbose way of saying that the time frame needs to be compressed or shortened.

3. The word BETA pronounced bettah. This was a first for me. I was very interested to hear him pronounce alpha, but couldn't seem to work it into the conversation.

4. "We will do this VICE doing that."  This would appear to be a mismatch of the phrases "vice-versa" and "versus".  The phrase rendered correctly should have been, "We will do this VERSUS doing that".

Have a good Monday evening!

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